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Byron Shire

Location

Byron Shire is located on the Far North Coast of NSW and shares its boundaries with the Tweed, Lismore and Ballina Local Government Areas (LGA’s). Brisbane is approximately 200 kilometres north and Sydney approximately 800 kilometres to the south.  The Shire is 556 square kilometres in size. The area is famed for its rural beauty and beaches.

Climate

The Byron Shire enjoys a mean temperature of 23.7 and mean minimum temperature of 16.1. We enjoy a high rainfall between January and May each year, with March being the month of highest rainfall. This provides an excellent farming climate and the green scenic landscape which many visitors enjoy. Further information can be found at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/ (Search for weather and climate/ Byron Bay).

Population

The population of Byron Shire at the date of the 2011 census was 29,208 (compared to 28,767 in 2006). The median age was 42 (compared to 41 in 2006). In 2011, 1.77% of the Shire's population identified as of Indigenous origin (compared to 1.55% in 2006).

Social Characteristics

The Byron Shire community is a diverse and colourful mix of people, with each of the towns and rural villages having its own distinctiveness, with a mix of cultural values, embracing both traditional and alternative lifestyles and philosophies.

Aboriginal Heritage

Byron Shire Council recognises the Bundjalung of Byron Bay - Arakwal People as the Traditional Custodians of the land in Byron Shire, and form part of the wider Aboriginal nation known as the Bundjalung. The Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) people retain a strong connection in the maintenance, protection and management of Aboriginal cultural values in the Shire. The Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) lived in this area for thousands of years before the arrival of non-Aboriginal people.

Since 2001 the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) people have entered into three Indigenous Land Use Agreements with the New South Wales Government recognising their Native Title rights as Traditional Owners to lands and waters in and around Byron Bay.

In 1998 the Arakwal People signed a Heads of Agreement with Byron Shire Council. This was the first agreement in NSW betwee Native Title Claimants and local government and established Council's support and cooperation with the Arakwal. Recently, a statement of commitment was signed between Council and the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) and notes that Council advocates the cultural and economic development of the Byron Bay Aboriginal – Arakwal People, the preservation and expression of their cultural identity, and the importance of Council and the Arakwal people partnering together to ensure an ecologically sustainable Byron Shire community.

 Today, Byron Shire is also home to many Indigenous people from a variety of communities from around the country. See further information about Council's Aboriginal services and programs here.

Industry and Economy

Byron Shire is a prominent tourist destination with over 1 million visitors annually. The main source of revenue for the Shire is tourism, approximately $380 million in 2011. Tourism has a significant impact on a range of industries in the Shire, notably retailing, health facilities and spas, accommodation, restaurants and cafes, transportation and construction. Agriculture and related value-added and creative industries are also important areas of activity for the Shire. See further information about industry and the economy under the economic development information here.